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The Painted Veil | 2006 | PG-13 | - 6.5.1

Set in 1920s China during a cholera epidemic: Edward Norton stars as a bacteriologist who proposes marriage to a young society woman (Naomi Watts), hoping to take her with him when he travels to Shanghai. Although she does not love him, she agrees to the marriage so she can leave her disagreeable mother. But when she is caught in an adulterous affair, her husband gives her an ultimatum: either she joins him in a small, disease stricken village, or he will embarrass her by filing for divorce. Also with Liev Schreiber, Sally Hawkins and Toby Jones. Directed by John Curran. [2:05]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A wife undresses, her husband watches her, she drops her dress and stands in a slip, they kiss, and they fall back onto a bed kissing (the scene ends and it is implied that they have sex). A husband enters his wife's bedroom, he sits on the bed next to her, they kiss passionately, he turns off the light and the scene ends (it is implied that they have sex).
 We hear moaning and rhythmic movement and see a man and a woman in bed together: we see their bare shoulders when they embrace, and his bare back and chest when he gets out of bed.
 A man and a young woman kiss in bed (we see her bare back and it is implied that they have sex).
 A husband wakes up in bed with his wife (she's covered by a sheet), and he gets out of bed (we see his bare chest, back and buttocks). A young woman sits in a man's room and we see her bare back. A woman wears a low-cut nightgown that reveals cleavage. A man comes out of his room wearing a robe over a tank top and boxers and a young woman peeks out of the room.
 Men and women dance together.
 A wife tells her husband that she is pregnant and that the child might not be his.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A woman is dumped out of a hand cart and falls onto a man who is knocked to the ground (we see a bloody cut on his face); a group of other men chase her through streets and into an alley, they approach her yelling, another man stands between them and tries to calm them, and then yet another man fires a gun in the air to frighten them.
 We hear two gunshots and see a body on the ground with blood on it (it is not clear whether it is a man or a woman). We see a dead man lying on a road.
 There are several scenes that show people who are sick and dying from cholera, we hear about what the progress of the disease and we see people with blackened appendages, vomiting and emaciated. A dead man is buried in a deep hole (we see dirt being shoveled onto his body and see his blue-tinged feet). We see many graves along a riverbank and see a blackened hand poking out through the dirt. Soldiers carry dead bodies wrapped in reed mats out of homes. A body in a coffin is covered in a sheet and carried along a dirt road.
 Large groups of people fight in the streets and soldiers with guns press into the crowd. We see angry workers protesting in the streets.
 A man grabs a woman's arm, pushes her back into a chair and threatens to strangle her.
 Several men carry a woman in a handcart, the stumble near the edge of a dirt road and nearly fall over. A man falls backward into an empty bathtub (he is drunk).
 A woman hears loud chanting and drumming at night from people who are trying to scare away death. People in streets chant for foreigners to go home. We hear reports of soldiers shooting down workers during a protest.
 A sick man vomits repeatedly, and his skin turns grey. A woman vomits into a garbage can (we see her slumped over). An infant's diaper is opened to reveal feces. An infant spits up on a woman's blouse (we see goo).
 We are told that an opera is portraying a woman who's been sold into slavery.


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LANGUAGE 1 - 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (pig, British devil), 1 religious exclamation.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man and a young woman appear to be mixing something that could be a drug, but it is unclear. Several people drink alcohol in several scenes, two men drink martinis, and people drink alcohol at a party. Several men smoke cigarettes, a man smokes cigarettes in several scenes, and a woman smokes a cigarette.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Infidelity, loveless marriage, disease, epidemics, cholera, British imperialism, colonies, grief, death of a spouse, foreign occupation, disappointment, hunger, strength, embarrassment, superstition, admiration, respect, betrayal, martyrdom, pride, Catholicism, contamination, religious conversion, orphanages.

MESSAGE - Love and duty are necessary for true contentment in a relationship.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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